This project has begun from two starting points. One is to apply the beautiful natural environment of the site. Another is to rationally renovate and create new designs. There are not many projects like this large in Japan. It is one of the significant events of China to renovate a land mine factory by developers’ investment.
This is a condominium project invested by both Tianjin Taida Investment Company and Vantone Real Estate. The site exists in the suburb of Tianjin, where was originally the mine factory on the large 70 ha land. The clients have planned to change an old meeting room to a club facility and an office building to a sales center. These two buildings were planned to be the main part of the business meeting space for the entire condominium district.
BMA was asked to renovate the exterior and interior design of the club facility (total floor area of 1500 sq.m.) and sales center (total floor area of 665 sq.m.). We have also designed the landscape for these buildings. This project has started its designing process on February 2006, started its construction on May, and completed on October to start using the facility.
¡ñThe design strategy
One of the most significant points for this renovation project is to revitalize the building by rapping the existing building with red bricks. Two original buildings were constructed in concrete structure. The original outward form of these buildings was damaged and barely presented before the renovation. On the old meeting building that was renovated to the club facility, considering the clients’ programmatic request, we added mezzanine floor and changed one story building to the two story building. We also have modified the shape of its roof. The interior of the old office building also had drastic changes to become the sales center, although the building is still one story. The exterior wall has newly built for both buildings.
BMA has been producing modern architecture by using industrial materials. We had struggled to find a way to apply red brick exterior walls for this project as our client has strongly requested. We had tried to create both modern and historical features by using those bricks. This was a great challenge for BMA. We needed to find the answer for how we can create a modern building by using those traditional building materials such as bricks, and also accepting the client’s favor toward its material.
How we are going to create new exterior wall-Brick Skin.
We had started designing the building, under the condition of requiring the use of the traditional brick materials. Consequently, we have created zigzag surfaces on the exterior wall with bricks, which we called it, Brick Skin. This idea of Brick Skin is applied on both club facility and sales center. After we have adjusted the location of the original building windows, we had layered bricks for three to four times on them. On the building section, the zigzag patterns appear along the window, and the stair-like lines for the exterior walls appear on the plan. This new exterior wall does not just strengthen the structure but also highly insulate the building. Our purpose for this project was to create an architecture that gives the light impression by using its traditional but heavy brick material. Because those bricks create the wall as if the thin layers are laminated, we call this Brick Skin.
¡ñHow to open up the closed space – Double corridors
The office building that was renovated to the sales center has the typical floor plan with the corridor located on the center of its plan. Several rooms lined up along the both side of the corridor and create the closed impression for the interior space. The structural wall on the both side of the central corridor cannot be tore down easily. Therefore, if we kept this plan with the central corridor and make those each room to the meeting space, it was obvious that the space on the building would become much oppressed. To solve the problem, we have removed a part of interior walls, but as little as possible so that our design would not affect on its original structure, and create another corridor next to the original one. By those two adjacent corridors, without any doors between them, we could newly provide the open impression to the original closed space. We have designed the wall for the meeting rooms along the new corridor to make the space more open. The plan for this double corridor loosens up the closed space for the building, and succeeded to create the open space centralizing those two corridors.
¡ñRepairing the new roof
The original office building has a sloped glass green roof. We had made this building as the exhibition space for the models to show the entire condominium district. The glass roof did not exist when we had started designing the building. There were only steel beams left. We first had recalculated the strength of the steel beams, relocated them, and rethought about the detail design for it. Moreover, on the glass roof that is facing to the South, we have installed wooden louvers to avoid the direct sun light. At the same time, we inserted the fluorescent light under the beams to create the ambient light.
The meeting room that was renovated to the club facility was built based on the 80’s national building standard. We had got rid of this roof, and made the roof top higher than before, by making steeper angle on the sloped roof. Cutting the edge of the southern and northern side of the roof also emphasizes the characteristics of the front façade.
The landscape is designed to relate its design to the Brick Skin façade. The most outer edges of the brick skin façade continue on to the striped floor made out of the old bricks that were left over from the construction site. We have bedded the gray granite stones between those stripes. LED light is installed on the ground and the existing vegetation was left where it used to be.
Tianjin Tianma International Club
BMA¡¡Beijing Matsubara and Architects
Hironori MATSUBARA, Daijiro NAKAYAMA, Tingting ZHANG
4286.3 sq. m.
1548.9 sq. m.
Total floor area:
2164.5 sq. m.
Feb. 2006- Apr. 2006
Jiangsu Nantong No.2 Construction Group
Tianjin Vantone Promenades Real Estate, co., ltd.